Last week in tech: Amazon's massive drone delivery hub may be coming to your city (in the distant future)

Popular Science

Google is partnering up with Lenovo and upstart camera maker Yi Technology to make cameras for its VR180 platform. There's currently not much info about the devices, but a line drawing on the site suggests one model will look like a compact camera with dual lenses. Google is now taking an active role in removing "confidential, personal medical records of private people" that may show up in public search results. The information now joins financial data and "revenge porn" in the categories that get scrubbed.

Amazon patents beehive-like structure to house delivery drones in cities

The Guardian

The application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, which was written in 2015 and published last week, included a number of drawings of drones flying in and out of tall cylinder-shaped buildings that Amazon wants to locate in central metropolitan areas. The buildings would also allow for traditional vehicle deliveries and could possibly include a self-service location for customers to pick up items in person. If Amazon moves forward with its vision of urban drone centers outlined in the patent application, the Seattle-based corporation could also likely face a range of obstacles in the regulation of the nascent industry of commercial drones – including attempts to control their movement and local zoning and development laws. The company also made headlines last year with a patent for flying warehouses, called "airborne fulfillment centers", that could be located above metropolitan areas, functioning like giant airships coordinating drone deliveries.

The future of the Air Force is fighter pilots leading drone swarms into battle

Popular Science

Earlier this month, Air Force F-35As were grounded because the system supplying oxygen to pilots failed, and the F-22 struggled with oxygen problems for years as well. Another challenge is the gravitational force on a pilot from sudden and sharp maneuvers; there is an upper limit on how much force a human body can withstand before they black out and possibly die. The primary target drone Fendley is talking about is the BQM-167 aerial target, which can cost between $750,000 and $900,000, depending on the options selected and the size of the order. That body is the basis for the Mako, one of two combat drones designed and built by Kratos.

Drone footage shows Apple's nearly finished spaceship campus against stunning sunset


Apple's massive new spaceship campus, officially called "Apple Park," is nearly complete and should officially open later this year. New drone footage reveals how glorious the main campus and the Steve Jobs Theater look just as the sun is setting. It's Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive's most ambitious "product" to date, huge glass panels, toilets inspired by iPhones, patented pizza boxes that prevent pizza from getting soggy, and over 9,000 trees in the quad. Just outside of the campus is the Steve Jobs Theater.

Drone Company Leaders Meet With Trump To Ask For More Clarity On Rules


This week, U.S. drone companies met with President Trump to discuss industry regulations. NPR's Melissa Block talks with April Glaser of Recode about how these companies actually want more regulation.

Amazon considers multi-story hives for its busy drones


Amazon has applied for a patent that gives more insight into the infrastructure it may be planning for its drone delivery program, Amazon Prime Air. The Seattle e-retailer, whose $13.7 billion deal for Whole Foods is shaking up the grocery and delivery business, entered the pilot-testing period for drone deliveries in December after it legally delivered a package using a drone in the United Kingdom. In late December, it was awarded a patent for a flying warehouse where drones could pick up packages. Drone deliveries would only be available in good weather and daylight, and Amazon Prime Air would only be able to deliver packages weighing five pounds or less.

Amazon could fill our cities with towering Echo-shaped drone hives


Amazon has registered a patent to do this. Amazon has, after all, also registered a patent for huge flying drone warehouses, like blimps that spew miniature versions of themselves out into the world below, a design built to deliver packages so quickly that customers will barely have ordered the thing before it shows up at their door. Doing this requires lots of drones and lots of packages. All those packages must be stored somewhere, and if drones are the future of delivery, those storage centers must cater to them.

Amazon's delivery drones could soon live in giant hives

Daily Mail

The hive is designed to accomodate landing and takeoff of unmanned aerial vehicles in urban settings. The patent states: 'There is a growing need and desire to locate fulfillment centres within cities, such as in downtown districts and densely populated parts of the cities. The patent states: 'There is a growing need and desire to locate fulfillment centres within cities, such as in downtown districts and densely populated parts of the cities. The hive is designed to accomodate landing and takeoff of unmanned aerial vehicles in urban settings where there isn't space to build outwards'By locating the fulfillment centres within the cities, items may be more quickly delivered to the growing population of people that live in the cities, as well as the large population of people who work in the cities.'

Amazon dreams of putting a giant drone beehive in your city


Which is a fancy way of saying that it wants to build enormous cylindrical warehouses at the heart of towns and cities. Rather than delivery folks driving parcels to your home, the building will be jam-packed with drones, which fill fly in and out of the location's many windows. A vertical building would eliminate some of that issue, while robots and human pickers roam the floors selecting the right Blu-ray for the drone to collect. Hell, imagine the dystopias, a few generations later, as post-apocalyptic humans worship those shining towers that provide food and clothing with its army of flying robots.

Watch SpaceX Fire Off Its Second Flight-Proven Falcon 9


The rocket flew 10 satellites for the Virginia-based communications company Iridium from Vandenberg Air Force base in California--part of a long-term contract to deliver Iridium's 75-strong constellation of satellites to low-Earth orbit. With every reusable rocket launch, SpaceX hopes to inch itself closer toward its ultimate goal of perfecting rapidly reusable flight hardware and sending humans (cost-effectively) to Mars. After a successful launch and recovery on the Just Read the Instructions robotic drone ship, SpaceX cleaned and tested the Iridium-1 booster, then shipped it to Florida. SpaceX successfully test-fired the refurbished Falcon 9's engines last Thursday at Pad 39A.